The Cougar basketball team dropped a pair of summer contests in games played last Wednesday at Warren East High School.
In the first game, the Cougars fell behind by as many as 15 points in the second half. But with the Cougars making a comeback, the game was halted with a little more than a minute left to play when the two teams began to square off in the Cougars’ end of the court with the Spartans up by nine, 53-44.
The Cougars led nearly the whole game against the host Raiders, but gave up the lead with just over two minutes remaining and lost 58-54.
The score stayed close in the first 10 minutes of the opening half, with four ties and three lead changes.
But with the Cougars leading 15-14 at the 11:38 mark, the Spartans reeled off eight straight points and led 22-15 with 8:19 left in the first half. They would never trail again.
A Spartan three-pointer with 5:10 left gave them their largest lead of the first half, 10 points at 27-17. The Cougars responded with a 10-3 run, including back-to-back threes from Trey Goff, to close to within three points, 30-27 with under a minute to play.
Following a steal, the Cougars had the chance to get closer or to tie, but missed a shot. The Spartans took advantage by getting an old-fashioned three point play with just a couple of seconds left to expand their lead back to six points, 33-27 at the break.
Still trailing by six points, 35-29, the Cougars went scoreless for nearly five minutes, but the Spartans could only expand the lead back to 10 points, 39-29 with 14:16 remaining.
A Spartan three and another lay-up pushed the lead to 15 points, 53-38 with 5:29 left to play.
The Cougars then began to chip away at the lead. Four straight free throws cut it to 11, 53-42. Cole Akridge came up with steals on the next two Spartan possessions and his brother, Gage, scored on a lay-up at the 2:04 mark to make it a nine-point game, 53-44.
When the Spartans turned the ball over on their next possession, tempers began to flare on the court and several players began squaring off. At this point the officials called the game.
Cole Akridge led the Cougars with 17 points, while Goff had nine points, all on threes. Gage Akridge finished with eight points, while Tanner Tyra had five. Conner Schultz scored three points, while Dustin Woosley and Colton Williams had one each to complete the scoring.
Head coach Kelly Carwile decided to bench some of his hot-heads from the first game and took on the Raiders with just six players. Despite that, the Cougars led nearly the whole game and finished with four players scoring in double figures.
A Warren East three-pointer at the 14:10 mark tied the score at 9-9, but the Cougars responded with seven straight and led 16-9 with 10:04 left in the first half.
The Raiders were able to cut their deficit to just two points, 23-21 with 2:45 left, but the Cougars scored the last five points of the period to lead by seven, 28-21 at the half.
A Spartan rebound basket at the 17:31 mark of the second half made it a four-point game, 31-27, but the Cougars went on an 11-2 run, including a Rylee Shoemaker three, that gave them their largest lead of the night, 42-29 at the 13:48 mark.
The Raiders responded with a 16-5 run that pulled them to within two points, 47-45 with 7:58 left. Grayson County still led by two, 50-48 with 4:55 left, but a Raider rebound basket and a three-pointer put them on top 53-50 with 2:07 left and they never trailed again.
Goff led the Cougars with 15 points, including three treys. Three players, Schultz, Williams and Woosley all scored 11 points, with Schultz leading the team in rebounds, with nine, and assists, with five.
Shoemaker and ack Davis both scored three points to round out the scoring.